Ranking the Discography: Yes Part XVII: The Ladder (1999)

The Ladder is the only album to have six members, and the last album to feature Igor Khoroshev. The album is dedicated to its producer, Bruce Fairbairn, who died during the final sessions. It reached #36 on the UK chart and 99 in the US. The album had 3 singles. While I like the Roger Dean artwork, I don’t much care for the square Yes logo.


Jon Anderson: lead vocals, percussion

Steve Howe: guitars, mandolin, koto, backing vocals

Billy Sherwood: guitars, backing vocals, tambourine, shakers

Chris Squire: bass, backing vocals

Igor Khoroshev: piano, Hammond B-3 organ, Mellotron, synthesizers, backing vocals

Alan White: drums, percussion, backing vocals

  1. “Homeworld (The Ladder)” : This is a wonderful opening track, with some excellent keyboard and guitar arrangements and a groovy rhythm. It was used for the PC game of the same name.
  2. “It’ll Be a Good Day (The River)”: This features Howe on a Japanese guitar called a koto. It’s got a good bassline, with a nice airy sound.
  3. “Lightning Strikes”: The rhythm is kind of all over the place on this one, but I like the bass.
  4. “Can I? ” : I wasn’t sure what to make of this interlude.
  5. “Face to Face: Khoroshev has some good keyboards on here, and the rhythm from Squire and White. Howe has a killer guitar on here.
  6. “If You Only Knew”: This felt a little out of place for Yes.
  7. “To Be Alive (Hep Yadda)” : I like the sitars and guitars and it’s got a chugging drum line from White.
  8. “Finally”: You can tell Yes is more willing to experiment again on this album, and this has a nice groove.
  9. “The Messenger “: The song has an almost reggae feel, which makes sense because it’s about Bob Marley.
  10. “New Language “: This is my most favorite song on the album. The opening guitar and keys start it off nice before it hits an intense vibes.
  11. “Nine Voices (Longwalker)”: This is simplistic closer, ending on a gorgeous note.

Final Verdict: This really feels like the Yes I love, with some nice long tracks. Granted, none of the songs go over 10 minutes, but they’re all well done. This is an album with few flaws.

Grade: B


Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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